It appears that the NHLPA has one of two options left at this point. Accept the leagues latest proposal which is still on the table when they tried saving an 82 game season; or decertify as a union and completely wipe out any positive gains the league has created in the last 20 years.
Eklund from Hockeybuzz.com says
However, if this season is wiped we are going backwards. If the Union is decertified it could be a decade until 1.88B is the pot again…and there may be only 25 teams around…
Now I am all for reducing the number of teams in the NHL to increase the talent pool, but there has been enough parity in the league that revenue sharing models and the salary cap were stabilizing things in a 30 market league where 5-7 teams didn’t belong on the same playing field as the strongest of hockey markets.
Decertifiying the NHLPA gives the league exactly what it wants – the ability to put scab players on the ice – except with no union members locked out because the union doesn’t exist, it doesn’t draw a line in the sand that players have to cross in order to come back to playing the game they love.
Both sides have leverage – the league has the ability to continue the lockout, to not negotiate off their position and make the players come to them – which is what the league has been hoping for since September 15th when the clock struck midnight.
The players have decertification; but are the largest body of players willing to lose their jobs in a league of 30 teams to save a league of fewer teams? The lockout is affecting those players that make league minimum or close to league minimum – decertifying would eliminate many of those players from the talent pool.
All along the NHLPA has been pledging solidarity, breaking up the union takes 700 players standing together and makes it a free for all.
The league needs the NHLPA though – making all players all unrestricted free agents will bring out the worst in the owners, and they will once again spend money on contracts that they can ill afford to back up. The league needs a CBA to protect themselves.
De-certify the NHL – and we will be having a Twinkie sized conversation about the NHL in the not so distant future.